Firefighters across South Yorkshire are asking people to pledge not to have a garden fire during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
This latest plea comes as South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue saw a huge spike in garden fires during the last week in March – a 161 percent increase compared to a normal week.
The service has also been contacted by a number of residents who have found it hard to physically leave their homes to exercise, due to the smoke coming from local garden fires where people have been burning garden and household waste.
Their message is also being backed by local authorities across the county, with an increase in air pollution being shown to negatively affect the health of those with respiratory illnesses.
“We fully appreciate that people will have excess waste, given they are spending much more time at home, but we would really discourage people from burning it off in the garden,” said Station Manager Steve Jones, who works in the joint police and fire community safety team.
“If a garden fire gets out of control, which so easily happens, we have to send a full crew to deal with it. The smoke can also cause real issues for people with respiratory illnesses – we’ve had reports from some people who haven’t been able to go out in their own gardens.
“At a time when we all need to come together we’re asking that, whilst they’re staying at home, people head to our website and pledge not to have a garden fire during the on-going pandemic – it only takes 30 seconds and will make a big difference.”
To sign the pledge, visit www.syfire.gov.uk/pledge.